Over the last few years, the problems attendant to software licensing regulation have occupied an important position in the minds of legislators at the federal, state and local levels. In the early nineties, the National Conference of Commissioners for Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) recognized the potential for licensing problems presented by the use of computer software in the national arena as well as on the Internet and saw a clear need for regulations that would transcend state boundaries. In 1999, as a result of years of planning and careful drafting, NCCUSL promulgated the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA) in an attempt to deal with the legal problems peculiar to software contracts and licenses, online access to databases, contracts to distribute information over the Internet, and contracts to create computer programs. Patterned largely after Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code, UCITA was intended by NCCUSL to serve as a set of default rules to govern computer information transfers. In 2000, the Virginia state legislature voted to enact its own form of UCITA and scheduled it to become effective in July of the next year. This decision gave Virginia the distinction of becoming the first state to enact NCCUSL's new legislation and promised to have widespread effects on software transfers in the United States. Virginia's adoption of UCITA will have an impact on consumers and practitioners throughout the country and will provide an example from which other state legislatures can assess the advantages and disadvantages of enacting some form of UCITA.
Paul A. Fritzinger,
Letter From the Editor,
Rich. J.L. & Tech
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/jolt/vol8/iss1/1